“Christmas Day will always be just as long as we have we…” All You Need to Understand Christmas Comes from Charlie Brown and the Grinch

Friends of Padre Steve’s World,

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah or whatever you celebrate today. I have been   Cooking and getting the house ready for Christmas dinner since last night. Once Judy’s cousins have arrived we will have our dinner, Turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, corn pudding, broccoli, and beer bread. So I will probably be offline until late this evening if at all. This is something I wrote last year. I hope you enjoy.

Peace,

Padre Steve+

I am a Priest, and I am actually a pretty learned theologian as well as a historian. I am probably a better historian than theologian, in fact on of my Deans at the Joint Forces Staff College said that I was “a historian masquerading as a chaplain, not that there is anything wrong with that.” But the fact is that as learned as I am of the theology of the Incarnation and how important that is to real Christian theology. The Incarnation not about creating some kind of Christian theocracy in order to usher in the Kingdom of God, instead it is about a God that chooses to become fully human, to be born of a woman, and to endure the death of a criminal, despised and rejected by the types of people that theocracy minded “Christian leaders” emulate in thought, word, and deed.

With that being said I will not bore you with an essay citing historical references, Scripture, or quotations of theologians, pastors, and historians much more learned, and for that matter probably better Christians than me. So, please, if you feel the need to criticize my theology, feel free, but please, have the decency to arrange to do that over a beer or your favorite tasty beverage later, don’t ruin your Christmas or mine to do that, there are plenty of other days to do just that take a deep breath whether you are a Christian Fundamentalist, a Traditionalist Catholic, a militant Atheist, or whatever.

But here’s the deal. The truth is when all is said and done I learned ever that I need to know about Christmas from Merry Christmas Charlie Brown by Charles Schulz, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss.

To me it is fascinating because Schulz, who brought us Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the whole Peanuts Gang for half a century was a Christian who battled depression and faith, yet his classic animated cartoon of Christmas which was released in 1965 has probably reached more people with the Christmas message than any great preacher of the past century or more.

The decision to include the speech by Linus was controversial, because of the expressly religious implications, by Schulz insisted that it be reatained.

I saw it for the first time when it was released in 1965, and now 53 years later it retains its freshness and innocence.

 Charlie Brown: Isn’t there anyone, who knows what Christmas is all about?!

Linus: Sure Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about. Lights please?

And there were in the same country shepherds, abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them! And they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, “Fear not! For, behold, I bring you tidings o great joy, which shall be to all my people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ, the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” And suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the Heavenly Host praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the Highest, and on Earth peace, and good will toward men.

That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.

Likewise, I think that Dr. Seuss, who was Jewish, may very well have done the same in his story about the Grinch.

I think of the last part of the Grinch and think about these words:

Welcome, Christmas, bring your cheer. Cheer to all Whos far and near. Christmas Day is in our grasp, so long as we have hands to clasp. Christmas Day will always be just as long as we have we. Welcome Christmas while we stand, heart to heart, and hand in hand.

I know, kind of simplistic and ecumenical. But I have learned so much about Christmas and the Incarnation from others, of course many are Christians, but I have also learned from Jews, Muslims, and others. So for all of my friends and readers I simply repeat the words of Dr Seuss. Welcome Christmas, bring your cheer… Christmas Day will always be just as long as we have we…

3 Comments

Filed under faith, film, Loose thoughts and musings

3 responses to ““Christmas Day will always be just as long as we have we…” All You Need to Understand Christmas Comes from Charlie Brown and the Grinch

  1. Pierre Lagacé

    Merry Christmas Padre.
    Keep the faith!

  2. Roger Clemons

    It would seem we have a common friend in Arthur Jacobson and we are both richer for it. My education, public or otherwise, was enriched by cartoons (Rocky and Bullwinkle, Dudley Doright) and comic strips (Pogo, Peanuts, Popeye). Pogo comes to mind: “We have met the enemy and he is us.” As for faith and belief, mine resides in children. I also consider “organized religion” as an oxymoron. Every day is a “holy day” for it can be nothing less. That being said, I honor your efforts to improve upon the human condition and wish you and your family, in fact everyone, a future enriched by love and peace. namaste

    • padresteve

      Art is great, love the man. I am not a big fan of organized religion at all, especially the power hungry kind that wants to control your life here and the hereafter. Love the Pogo quote, one of my favorites.

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